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: News and Blog

Successful prostate cancer vaccine brings out men’s groups

This is excellent news for men: Company says prostate cancer vaccine shows promise

To summarize the findings

those treated with the vaccine lived an average of 4 1/2 months longer than those given dummy treatments. After three years, survival was 34 per cent in the vaccine group and only 11 per cent in the other.

I’m a little suspicious of whether the sample size was large enough but assuming for the moment it was this is very exciting indeed. And it’s exciting for everyone, in a a manner that shows that we’re really missing the boat by not better funding prostate cancer research.

Provenge is not like traditional vaccines that prevent disease. It’s a so-called therapeutic vaccine that treats cancer by training the immune system to fight tumours. If approved, Provenge would be the first such treatment on the market.

“This is an exciting result, demonstrating that harnessing a patient’s own immune system can successfully attack prostate cancer,” said Dr. Eric Small, cancer specialist at the University of California at San Francisco. “Now we have more confidence that the initial results we saw were real.”

Provenge is a treatment that is customized for each patient. Doctors collect specialized cells from each patient’s blood. Those cells help the immune system recognize cancer as a threat, much as it would germs that enter the body.

In other words, in finding a treatment for prostate cancer researchers are in fact embarking on a new paradigm in cancer treatment that could be of even wider applicability.

Here’s another interesting element to the article. When the FDA originally delayed approving the vaccine in question:

The decision sparked protests from men’s groups and cancer advocates because the vaccine did prolong survival, which they considered a more important result.

Men’s groups!? Good to know there are men’s groups out there that are at least readily to mobilize on health issues. Health issues – and the poor funding in men’s health – are undoubtedly one of the leading reasons we need a men’s movement.

For more information on projects to raise money for prostate cancer visit an older post

Ken Wiebe – Suing the Status of Women Canada. Who’s defaming who? (Pendulum Effect Ep7 Available)

On today’s show I interview Ken Wiebe regarding his suing of the Status of Women Canada. Ken is from Fathers Canada, a coalition dedicated to working on behalf of fathers and children, advancing fathers’ rights and shared parenting while exposing the corruption and sexism rampant in the family law system. He was on the show on Episode 4 to discuss Father’s Canada.

Today we discuss something quite different. In 2008 Ken sued the Status of women Canada and the authors (Pierrette Bouchard, Isabelle Boily and Marie-Claude Proulx) of a report entitled “School success by gender: A catalyst for the masuclinist discourse” which sought to expose many, many men’s rights organizations for supposedly engaging in hate speech towards women. He sued them for defamation in listing his organization as one guilty of hate mongering and possibly inciting violence against women.

Plus, news and commentary in the fields of gender and equalism from our regular pundit Mark Overy, aka Argus Eyes, who runs the blog True-Equality.

Ken Wiebe is a father, a self employed business man and an independent contractor who has been a frequent independent contract consultant for government for approximately 19 years, in computer matters. He is the spokesman for B.C. Fathers, an unregistered support group for fathers and mothers in regard to access, custody and matrimonial disputes. He also assists in coordinating the coalition Fathers Canada. More info on Ken Wiebe and Fathers Canada can be found at www.fathers.ca

Note that the following documents are available for download below:

1. Report in question, “School success by gender: A catalyst for the masculinist discourse”

2. Statement of Claim, in the British Columbia Supreme Court, between Ken Wiebe Plaintiff and Pierrette Bouchard, Isabelle Boily, Marie-Claude Proulx, Her Majesty the Queen in the Right of Canada, and the Minister Responsible for the Status of Women Canada Defendants

3. Judgement from the Supreme Court of British Columbia

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Male Suicide is All the Rage

Writer Sigrid MacDonald

Writer Sigrid MacDonald

I’ve been distracted here in Tampa, Florida for the least few days and unable to get done much in the way of posting. Here’s a post by Sigrid Macdonald, an author based in Ottawa. She always has very insightful commentary, especially on gender. This one in no exception, and it manages to touch on male suicide, health, and fathers issues. Well done. I’m not sure I agree that domestic violence against men is less harmful. True, men are physically stronger, but women make up for that by being more likely to use weapons and plan strategic uses of violence. But with some small exceptions, the following is right on target:

Death of a Salesman — Male Suicide Is All the Rage

Recently I watched a television version of the all-time classic play Death of a Salesman. I was struck by its continued relevance today, in this time of economic uncertainty when so much pressure is still applied on men to be successful providers.

As you may remember, Willy Loman, our anguished hero in Arthur Miller’s tale, was a salesman who covered seven states in the New England territory. He drove for miles, suffered from great loneliness and isolation at times, but always had to approach his clients with a smile on his face. He had to pump himself up every day when he looked in the mirror, telling himself that he was the best, he was going to make it big time; for sure, he would make a million bucks! Except that he didn’t.

In every way, Willy was an ordinary man who tried to convince himself that he was extraordinary because his occupation required him to do so. What he was selling was not so much a product as himself. And if he failed, he couldn’t admit it because that would be admitting weakness when Willy was a typical macho man of the 40s. But how much has that changed?

The main beneficiaries of the gender revolution of the 60s and 70s were women, not men, and rightly so initially because women had to be brought up to par (we’re still not there in terms of pay equity or equal representation in Congress and Parliament, as top CEOs of companies or studying for Ph.D.s in math, science and engineering. But the focus for several decades has been on improving women’s lives by meting out greater penalties for sexual harassment, domestic violence and sexual abuse, and this emphasis has been at the expense of neglecting male issues such as Willy’s.)

When we first encounter Willy, he’s having a nervous breakdown. He keeps crashing the car and his faithful wife Linda discovers a hose in the basement connected to the furnace. She knows that he’s trying to kill himself but she can’t bring herself to talk to him about it because she’s afraid she’ll hurt his ego. And Willy can’t talk to his wife about his fears because it would be emasculating. (Although women suffer depression more often than men, men are far more likely to commit suicide for a variety of complex reasons, starting with the fact that they don’t seek medical help; they don’t confide in others because they need to keep up a sense of bravado; they have higher rates of alcoholism and drug addiction than women [but women are catching up]; and most importantly, they choose more dramatic methods such as hanging and shooting.)

Men are particularly vulnerable to suicide during periods of unemployment. At the age of 63, Willy had been placed on straight commission and his salary had been slashed by a company that he’d worked for for 35 years. When he complained to the new CEO, the son of the original owner — a boy who Willy had known all of his life and even named — Howard shrugged him off. “Just business,” he explained. “Nothing personal.” “Get yourself together!” So much for loyalty, dedication and reward for a lifetime of hard work. Willy was no longer producing, consequently, he was disposable.

One thing that I noticed this time around that had escaped me during previous readings of the play was that Charlie, a mere acquaintance of Willy’s, offered Willy a job but he refused to take it because of his pride. Willy was too good for the $25 a week job. He was a salesman through and through and he was better than that. He needed his old job back for the sake of his self image; anything other than that was simply charity or beneath him.

We all know the ending to this sad story: Willy kills himself so that his family can collect $20,000 in insurance money. His sons, one a full-time Lothario and the other unable to commit to any sort of decent job, view their father’s death differently. One sees it as the end of the American dream and his realization is liberating to him. He will no longer strive to be perfect or extraordinary. He, Biff, will be perfectly happy to be just like everyone else. The other son, Happy (who is anything but), is more resolute than ever to carry on his father’s illusions about life and what it means to be a man in this society.

In these troublesome times, with tens of thousands of layoffs and people literally losing the roof over their heads, how many more company men will decide to make the final exit? In Britain, five times as many males between the ages of 15 and 34 kill themselves as females. This rate drops a bit and then rises dramatically from the age of 65 to 75. According to the World Health Organization, Canada is ahead of the United States in terms of male suicide at 21.5 men per 100,000 people compared to 5.4 for women versus 19.3 men per 100,000 and 4.4 women in the US [http://fathersforlife.org/health/cansuic.htm].

When suicide is the third leading cause of death in Canada, followed only by cancer and heart disease, and men outnumber women four to one, why isn’t this considered a national crisis? We don’t need the deaths of any more salesmen! We need to encourage true sex role equality, where we say that we want men to be open about their feelings, from sorrow to rage, and we mean it and don’t ridicule them behind their backs. We need to reduce the pressure on young men who are trying to find themselves professionally and in the work world, and let them know that they don’t have to be perfect or support entire families without contributions by their mates. We need to stop thinking about men as the ones who are violent and privileged – men as the problem –and realize that the traditional male role is just as confining as the female role, and in some respects, it’s worse.

In his book The Myth of Male Power Warren Farrell argues that only men are drafted in North America; men may well be the greatest perpetrators of violence but they’re also the largest number of victims of violence; men work in many occupations that are physically dangerous like firefighting and construction; and men suffer domestic violence at equal rates to women, although women are far more likely to be seriously injured or hospitalized when a man hits them. And something is dreadfully wrong when our young men, the next generation, our greatest resource, have already decided at 25 that life is too difficult and painful to bear.

Murderous boys who target girls and women

I have criticised many feminists for neglecting to mention the evils that women have committed in the past. So I feel I should say that I condemn in the strongest terms, the massacres that are primarily committed against young girls by boys in school shootings. Unlike many ideologues, I will not try to defend the actions of people in “my group” there is no group here, I am an individualist, not a victim advocate, so I must say that I wish this kid was show as soon as possible, I wish the police had shot him before he could harm a single person. But wishing does not make it so.

The most recent event is, of course, the massacre in Germany. But they go back as well, a notable example was the massacre in Nickel Mines, Pa.

“The predominant pattern in school shootings of the past three decades is that girls are the victims,” says Katherine Newman, a Princeton University sociologist whose recent book examines the roots of “rampage” shootings in rural schools.

Dr. Newman has researched 21 school shootings since the 1970s. Though it’s impossible to know whether girls were randomly victimized in those cases, she says, “in every case in the US since the early 1970s we do note this pattern” of girls being the majority of victims.


These guys are losers and scum, they are evil. There are problems that beset the sexes, men are more likely to suffer mental diseases and conditions, men are the causes of most violence. I do not wish to hide from reality behind the veil of faithful belief, reality is there to be seen by those with unburdened eyes.


Man Nearly Mauled by Bull has Audience (and Possibly Man) in Stitches

A friend sent me a link to the following video on youtube entitled “How a Real Man Takes Off His Underwear”. The video was uploaded by a lady, along with the remark “This is hilarious!”

After referencing the video, this friend said:

This was just sent to me as a joke and I found it very unfunny. Thought you might be able to use it on your website, Justin. Why is anybody laughing at this? How horrible…

A second friend who was copied on this exchange then contributed the following:

Seems fine to me. A guy acts stupid, and gets embarrassed due to his stupid actions. He didn’t seemed injured, so I don’t see the big deal. I would actually feel worse for the bull than the guy. That bull is probably very confused and scared and is clearly not there on its own free will.

I can see both their points. Certainly this archaic and brutal “sport” is in fact torture for these animals. But I can’t help thinking that if a male had posted a video about the identical incident happening to a woman, with the tag line “This is hilarious!” and featuring an audience full of laughing spectators in stitches, that that might have been construed as society legitimizing violence against women, especially with International Women’s Day right around the corner. And remember that men are far more likely to actually get hurt or killed in these sorts of incidents, sometimes due to their own stupidity and sometimes simply because men are far more likely to put themselves into dangerous situations out of necessity in their employment.

Or am I overthinking this, as some suggested to my post regarding offensive cartoons and t-shirts? I would appreciate your thoughts.